Haystack Rock Awareness
Citizen Science Program
By Wendi Agalzoff-LaRue
With a goal to “promote stewardship of the environment and prevent degradation at Haystack Rock” Haystack Rock Awareness Program is an extensive, city funded and volunteer based educational program. Utilization of citizen science allows for community involvement in both the collection of data and protection of the Marine Garden and National Wildlife Refuge of Haystack Rock.
Over the course of 32 years, Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) has grown to include a multitude of citizen science programs including seabird surveys, sea star surveys, Portland Audubon Society seabird survey, marine debris and Micro plastic surveys and the King Tide project (monitoring extreme high tides). This essential data is collected by volunteers then analyzed by real scientists to make conclusions.
“Volunteers both young and young at heart can participate, with each citizen science program offering a different level of participatory exertion. Volunteers can participate by taking notes on the beach or they can fully suit-up in chest waders and wade out into the intertidal waters to county baby sea stars.” Program Coordinator Melissa Keyser said. Volunteers can also participate in ongoing HRAP educational outreach efforts by becoming interpreters. Interpreters volunteer throughout the nine month season (February through October) on the beach during low tide.
Do not miss the upcoming marine debris survey on March 28th or the upcoming micro-plastic removal! Visit http://www.ci.cannon-beach.or.us/hrap to sign up for citizen science events or learn how to get involved. “Anyone, of any age, with a love of nature and an interest in the coastal environment is encouraged to participate!” exclaimed Keyser.
Photos by Melissa Keyser